Appearance vs. Reality in Macbeth

7 July 2016

In life, Appearance is how and what someone appears to be; judging people on what is on the outside, it is basically how it seems. Reality is the real version of something to deal with. Appearance versus reality is a very important theme in William Shakespeare’s Macbeth. In this play, there are three characters that are deceived by what appears to be real, and the tragic consequences that follow this error in judgment. They are King Duncan, who trusted Macbeth too much; Lady Macbeth, who got tricked by the three witches and herself; and Macbeth, who got tricked by the witches and the people around him.

King Duncan trusted Macbeth too much; Macbeth appears like a wounded captain’s account of his battlefield valor, our initial impression is of a brave and capable warrior in front of King Duncan. However, we were all deceived. In the first act, the traitor of Scotland, Macdonwald, who fought against King Duncan was defeated and killed by Macbeth. King Duncan states “Go pronounce his present death/ And with his former title greet Macbeth. ” (Shakespeare 1. 2. 73-74).

Appearance vs. Reality in Macbeth Essay Example

This quotation pictures King Duncan trusting Macbeth a lot and thining he is truly faithful because he was the hero of Scotland, so he gave Macbeth the title, Thane of Cawdor. However, in reality, Macbeth is not faithful to King Duncan. Macbeth led wicked thoughts by the prophecies of three witches, especially after their prophecy that he will become Thane of Cawdor and it came true. When Macbeth is back to in his castle, Lady Macbeth and him was planning to assassinate King Duncan; at the same time, King Duncan wanted to go to Macbeth’s castle to visit him.

While King Duncan is on his way to Macbeth’s castle, he said: “This castle hath a pleasant seat; the air Nimbly and sweetly recommends itself Unto our gentle senses” (Shakespeare 1. 6. 1-3). This quotation shows that how appearance versus reality works. On the appearance side, King Duncan really likes Macbeth; he is praising that Macbeth’s castle is a pleasant place and the air is sweet, appeals to Macbeth refined senses and he feels that Macbeth’s place is very comfortable for him. In reality, he is actually going towards to his death because Macbeth is going to betray Duncan by assassinating him.

When King Duncan arrived Macbeth’s castle, he said to Lady Macbeth “And his [Macbeth] great love, sharp as his spur, hath holp him” (Shakespeare, 1, 6, 24). This quotation is also showing appearance versus reality. King Duncan thinks Macbeth ran home and arrived to his castle before Duncan because Macbeth is showing his love and respect to Duncan. In reality, the real reason that Macbeth got home earlier is that Macbeth wanted to plan the assassination the King with his wife before King Duncan arrives to Macbeth’s castle.

In conclusion, King Duncan trusted Macbeth too much and it shows appearance versus reality. The witches tricked Lady Macbeth. When Macbeth told her about his prophecy, Macbeth will become the king according to the three witches, she immediately thought that it will be perfect for her to be the queen if Macbeth actually becomes the King of Scotland. But then the King suddenly announced that his (King Duncan) eldest son, Malcolm, will become the next king.

Lady Macbeth and Macbeth thought this was ridiculous, because Macbeth was supposed to become the next king; everything that they planned is ruined. So Lady Macbeth said “Look like the innocent flower/ But be the serpent under it. ” (Shakespeare 1. 5. 72-73). The first quotation shows appearance versus reality. Lady Macbeth told Macbeth to appear like an innocent flower so he could get close to King Duncan, in reality is to be like the snake that hides underneath the flower so he can assassinate King Duncan easily. Lady Macbeth states: “All our service

In every point twice done, and then done double, Were poor and single business to contend Against those honours deep and broad Where with your Majesty loads our house. ” (Shakespeare 1. 6. 17-21) The second quotation illustrates that Lady Macbeth appears that she welcomes King Duncan to come to Macbeth’s castle and she was preparing everything to serve him with honor. In reality, all Lady Macbeth wants is to murder King Duncan so she could fulfill her plan of becoming the queen. Macduff said “O, gentle lady” (Shakespeare 2. 3. 86).

The third quotation is shows appearance versus reality because Lady Macbeth appears like a gentle lady in front of Macduff but Lady Macbeth is totally not gentle, she is a tough, callous, evil and strong woman in reality. Therefore, Lady Macbeth got tricked by the witches and she herself and it is related to appearance versus reality. Appearance versus reality played a fallacious hand in Macbeth’s life, Macbeth got tricked by the witches; the witches told him (Macbeth) that he will become the next king. In the beginning of this play, Macbeth is a brave and powerful man; everyone thought he was a totally good person.

Macbeth states: “Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood [Duncan’s blood] Clean from my hand? No, this my hand will rather The multitudinous seas incarnadine, Making the green one red. ” (Shakespeare 2. 2. 72-75) The first quotation is explaining that after Macbeth murdered King Duncan, his cousin, the seriousness of the crime of Macbeth was such a horrible act that nothing can wipe out the guilt inside his (Macbeth) heart, not even the Neptune’s ocean can clean Duncan’s blood from his hand; instead, it will stain the seas scarlet.

On the other hand, Lady Macbeth said “A little water clears us of this deed” (Shakespeare 2. 2. 80). This quotation shows that for the outside of the world, Macbeth appears like a strong, powerful and bloody man, in reality Lady Macbeth is much more stronger, more tough, more violent and more aggressive. However, at the end of the play Lady Macbeth said “Here’s the smell of the blood still. / All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand. ” (Shakespeare 5. 1. 43-44).

This quotation is saying that Lady Macbeth felt guilty for what she have done earlier; convinced Macbeth to assassinate King Duncan. Overall one to say, Macbeth got tricked by the witches and led him to failure. In conclusion, the witches tricked Macbeth by leading him to fall in to their (the witches) trap; they told Macbeth’s prophecy that he would become the king, Macbeth used unscrupulous ways manipulate King Duncan, in order to be the king and that is the first step to fulfill the witches’ plan.

The witches also deceived to trick Lady Macbeth. Macbeth told Lady Macbeth his prophecy and Lady Macbeth came up with the thought that it will be perfect for her to be the queen. Lady Macbeth fell in to the witches’ trap as well. King Duncan trusted Macbeth too much; Macbeth appears like a heroic captain wounded on the battlefield account, a bloody and strong solider. However, one might know that in fact he is an evil, horrible, and violent person. Therefore, appearance versus reality is demonstrated throughout the play of Macbeth.

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